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Cesare Borgia

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cesare Borgia
    Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 06:57
Now I have adopted this guy's portrait as avatar in AE, I would like to discuss this character. Hero for Machiavelli, who put him as contemporary example for his teachings, dangerous condottiero for many others, ilegitimate son of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (originally Borja), later pope Alexander VI, possibly the most mundane figure in the history of Papacy, always under the shadow of his dubious father but with many qualities of his own, specially in the military and political fields, accidental model for many portraits of Jesus Christ...

Cesare Borgia

Related as he was to the House of Foix, he helped Navarre to avoid the Spanish invasion once from his influential position as favorite son of the Pope. Eventually, after losing his power and being extradited to Spain, he managed to flee his prision and found refuge precisely in Navarre, where he eventually died as a true Basque (adopted) hero defending Biana .

What do you think of this historical character?

For further info here there are a couple of links:
- Wikipedia
- The Prince at Project Guttenberg (downloadable or online)

You may also want to comment on his original family, his ambitious father Pope Alexander VI and his sister Lucrezia.

Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia)

 
Lucrezia Borgia



Vanozza Cattanei, the mother of Cesare and Lucrezia



Edited by Maju
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 08:10

The Borgias exemplified the excesses of the Renaissance.  While art, literature and scientific enquiry were admirable in their Renaissance achievements, The corruption of the Church was shown by Alexander VI who was a soldier and saw the Papacy as a means to temporal power and influence (and wealth).......One reason for the Reformation.

Cesare was the Papal tool as military commander in the expansion of the Romagna around 1500, and, although he was a reasonably competent tactician, he found himself squeezed between the far greater powers of France and Spain during the Italian Wars.....No strategist and politician.  As a condottiero, he was well down the list of star performers. 

Lucretia has a very suspect reputation, but I have not read much about her specifically.  Mostly interested in the rise of great powers and strategic matters.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 09:40
I've found something more:

The Borgias (Borjas) were the only two Popes of Spanish origin. The last one was Alexander VI, already mentioned, but his uncle Calixtus III was also pope. He's described as feeble and incompetent, having called a crusade against the Ottomans that found no replies. He also reviewed the proccess against Joan d'Arc, rehabilitating her posthumously.


Pope Calixtus III, uncle of Alexander VI

And HERE is another interesting article in Cesare, on whom it was said: "The Pope loves his son... and has great fear of him."

He and his father had planned a marriage betweem Cesare and Carlotta, princess of Naples. For this reason he abandoned the habits and was titled from then on as Duke of Valentinois. But the King of Naples changed his mind and Cesare then allied with Louis XII of France who claimed Naples and Milan. In exchange, Cesare was married with a princess, Charlotte, of the Duchy of Guyenne, gaining also power and richess in abundance.

While you, Pikeshoot, say that Cesare wasn't any great condottiero, he was indeed a great statesman and commander, or at least he is regarded as such by many, always ignoring the moral issues, of course. He managed to control by force of arms or by diplomatic means all the Romagna and the fact that Machiavelli chosed him as main model for his most famous essay, is in itself relevant (though some suggest that Machiavelli actually admired  most Ferdinand of Aragon but didn't dare to praise him too much)

...

Lucrezia's life is maybe the most complex and largely she seems to be a tool of her father's and brother's ambitions. She was married first to Giovanni Sforza, Count of Pesaro. But this marriage was annullated when his help wasn't of use anymore for the Borgias. Later she was married to the crown-prince of Aragon, Alfonso (after having been attested purely virgin by Church offcials, despite being pregnant of 6 months, not from Sforza but from a servant, apparently).

She was then for some time governor of Spoletto and Foligno, a principality traditionally reserved for cardinals of the Church, that she ruled well. This was the first sign that the marriage with Alfonso wasn't anymore of use, once the war against Naples had started. Soon after Alfonso was almost killed in Rome but he recovered under the protection and care of Lucrezia. But Cesare didn't like to leave his works half-finished and Alfonso was murdered anyhow.

After that, Lucrezia was married to Afonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, a city-state, adjacent to Cesare's domains. As Duchess, Lucrezia survived her relatives and bore descendants for that dynasty. She died when she was 39 after a difficult pregnancy.


Lucrezia reigns in the Vatican in absence of her father, a totally Borgian scene



Edited by Maju
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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 12:52
Borgia is my favorite pope, not for being a great man but for being so damn intresting.
"the people are nothing but a great beast...
I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value."
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 14:05
Interesting... that's the word. And that's why I decided to start this topic. 
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2005 at 14:34

Guys:

Just to clear up a mistake.....The soldier pope I mentioned was not Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), but Julius II, his successor who arrested Cesare and got him out of the Romagna.  Sorry.

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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jul-2005 at 08:06

Maju:

What do you know of Cesare's campaigns in Italy?  I am aware of the general trends and result, but I don't know much about the "operational" military history.  Others may be interested as well.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Jul-2005 at 18:07
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Maju:

What do you know of Cesare's campaigns in Italy?  I am aware of the general trends and result, but I don't know much about the "operational" military history.  Others may be interested as well.

The largest description I've found is that of Machiavelli... he seems to have taken control of all Romagna quickly and he was also in the proccess of taking Tuscany when his father died. According to Machiavelli only his illness and a decisive error in the election of the new Pope allowed his position to be dismantled easily. But there's a whole chapter dedicated to his deeds... so I recommend you to read it either in paper-book or in the e-book that I posted above.

All the other articles I've read about him also ponder his military qualities, though obviously, his polical ones and his more than dubious morality are much more talked upon. He finished his life as soldier as well.

 

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